Stress Heart Risks: New Studies Show How Stress Affects Cardiovascular Health

Stress can make your hair fall out and cause you to lose sleep, and it can also seriously impact your cardiovascular health. According to a recent article in the Huffington Post, there is new research about the impact stress has on cardiovascular health.

According to one study, elderly with elevated cortisol levels over a period of time were more likely to be at risk for cardiovascular disease, and they also were more likely to have a history of stroke, diabetes, peripheral arterial disease, and coronary heart disease. Dr ElisabethVan Rossum stated that “the data showed a clear link between chronically elevated cortisol levels and cardiovascular disease”.

 “In a very stressful situation [like unemployment], you can actually get a severe release of adrenaline and sympathetic nerve discharges that cause the heart to beat irregularly,” said John Higgins, MD, a sports cardiologist at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston.

Proof again that stress is bad. Are you burned out? Contact us to find out about our 14-Day Stress-Bursting Challenge. Your mind and body will thank you!

10 New Things We’ve Learned About Stress

April marks the beginning of National Stress Awareness Month. Huffington Post shared a recent article outlining 10 new things we’ve learned about stress.

1) According to recent studies, work stress may lead to increased risk of cardiac complications in men, diabetes in women and it may also shorten DNA strands linked to longevity.

2) A genuine smile lowers your heart rate and alleviates stress. So next time you are in traffic, try smiling even if you have to fake it in the beginning. Haha!

3) Dwelling on stress can make matters worse. That’s right your reaction to stress impacts your physical health.

4) Chronic stress puts men at increased risk for diabetes.

5) Work issues and job stability are biggest contributers to milennial stress.

6) Learning to be present (using techniques such as art therapy and mindfulness meditation) helps alleviate stress and improve health.

7) Stress plays a role in drug relapse. Personally, we don’t think this is anything new but glad it’s getting attention. It’s important not to turn to drugs/alcohol (i.e. self-medicate) when under stress.

8) Stress impacts the body’s ability to regulate inflammation which in turn lowers immunity and places a person at risk for catching a cold.

9) Stillbirths are 2.5% higher in women with major stressful life events.

10) Also, according to researcher bring your clean, friendly, pet to work could also help alleviate stress. Of course, if you cannot take your pet to work then spends some time regularly playing with your beloved pet.

Stress in contagious! Avoid secondhand stress by following our blog and utilizing our
stress-management services.

 

Stress, Depression and the holidays: 8 Tips for Coping

The holiday season is upon us. For many that means great food, family, and time off. To others the holidays can become stressful and anxiety provoking. The holidays can bring out uninvited guests-depression and stress.
The hussle and bussle of holiday preparation: cooking, shopping, gift wrapping, and entertaining can be exhausting just to think about. If food is an issue (dieting, food allergies, history of overeating) then a lot of preparation goes into the holiday meals and it can cause stress.

Here are a few tips to survive the holidays and maybe even enjoy them.

  1. Acknowledge your feelings. If someone close to you has recently died, you or a loved one is sick or you can’t be with loved ones, realize that it’s normal to feel sadness and grief. It’s OK to take time to cry or express your feelings. Don’t force yourself to feel things that you don’t.
  2. Reach out. Many people feel lonely around this time of year. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious or other social events. They can offer support and companionship. Volunteering your time to help others also is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your friendships.
  3. Be realistic. Listen up Type As and perfectionists: the holidays don’t have to be perfect. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones. For example, if your adult children can’t come to your house, find new ways to celebrate together, such as sharing pictures, emails or videos. If you are missing one side dish or someone forgets the dessert, it’s not the end of the world.
  4. Stick to a budget. Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Then stick to your budget. Don’t try to buy happiness.
  5. Plan ahead. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends and other activities. Plan your menus and then make your shopping list. This will also help you stick to your budget. Get family and friends to party prep and cleanup.
  6. Don’t abandon healthy habits. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt. Have a healthy snack before holiday parties so that you don’t go overboard on sweets, cheese or drinks. Continue to get plenty of sleep and physical activity.
  7. Take a breather. Make some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone to help you refresh. Take a walk at night and stargaze. Listen to soothing music. Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing and restoring inner calm.
  8. Seek professional help if you need it. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable and hopeless, and unable to face routine chores. If these feelings last for a while, talk to your doctor, therapist or a mental health professional.

Don’t let the holidays become dreadful. Take steps to prevent holiday stress and depression. Learn to recognize your holiday triggers, such as financial pressures or personal demands, so you can combat them before they lead to a meltdown.

Happy Holidays From Elika Kormeili and Center For Healthy and Happy Living.

Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Food Issues & How We Can Help

Is stress or anxiety making your eyes pop out? At Center for Healthy and Happy Living, our Founder Elika Kormeili, likes to focus on solutions rather than problems. Whether you have food restrictions or not, stress can weaken your immunity. Stop the stress-induced madness, read about how we can help you with more than just your restricted diet.


Problem: Too Much Stress
Solution: Identify and tackle triggers. Learn effective stress management techniques.

Problem: Anxiety

Solution: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to identify and reduce anxiety provoking triggers. Effective relaxation techniques.

Problem: TMJ, Grinding, Clenching

Solution: Identify and effectively manage emotions.

Problem: Spread too thin/Too many commitments

Solution: Appropriate boundaries and self-care. Stress Less in LA services are just right for you!

Problem: Food Temptations.

Solution: Eliminate food temptations by stocking a healthy home/office environment. Challenge self-defeating thoughts and triggers for eating when not hungry and eating foods that are not on your eating plan.

Problem: Anxious About Food Allergies

Solution: Increase ability to manage stress, anxiety and fear. Learn strategies to explain why you or your child have to eat differently from others. Learn to battle against isolation, labeling and bullying.

Problem: Need to Lose Weight

Solution: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Weight Loss. Managing food temptations. Overcoming all the reasons for eating other than physical hunger.

Problem: Difficulty focusing and getting meeting deadlines

Solution: Time management and organization skills.

Problem: Your child is not following directions

Solution: Positive Parenting Program (Triple P)

Problem: When bad memories won’t go away

Solution: Trauma-Focused Cognitivie Behavioral Therapy


Have a problem that you would like a solution for?

Surviving Thanksgiving With Food Allergies and Emotional Eating

Do you feel left out of Thanksgiving “fun” because you can’t eat what everyone else can?
Do you dread going to social events for fear of insulting the host when you find there is no food you can eat? Many of people struggling with food allergies or emotional eating (or heck even those trying to lose weight) find it difficult to participate in holiday festivities while staying on track with their health goals. Therapist, Elika Kormeili, discusses ways to negotiate these events graciously and leave feeling full and nourished.


With so many delicious foods at holiday parties, many people worry about overeating. However, those accustomed to watching what they eat usually overcome this obstacle because they know how bad they feel after eating past their comfort zone. After indulging a few times, they usually realize it isn’t worth it. If after eating your fill of acceptable food you feel left out of the fun, nosh on salads or raw vegetables such as carrot or celery sticks. These foods are safe for most allergy sufferers and devoid of the extra calories that will make you feel guilty in the morning.

Potlucks are usually the easiest events to fully participate in since, if necessary, you can eat only the food you bring, without anybody noticing. Because most desserts are off limits, bring one you’ve made from a favorite recipe. Also consider bringing an entrée, as many main courses contain mixed ingredients, making it difficult to detect the culprits.  When accepting an invitation, gently tell the host or hostess about your situation and your desire to be part of the festivities. Clear communication about your food preferences will not only keep you on course but also be less offensive than quietly passing over the untouchables and going home hungry. Once informed, most people are more than happy to accommodate special needs. More than likely you will be informed of the menu. Upon hearing of dishes you cannot eat, suggest that you bring a small portion of one you can eat.   Keep in mind the purpose of the holidays – celebration of family, friendships, and community.

Happy Thanksgiving from Center For Healthy and Happy Living. Food allergies and emotional eating are not on the menu.

How will you celebrate Thanksgiving?

 

3 things you can do at home to manage your stress

Center for Healthy and Happy Living’s Founder, Elika Kormeili, appreciates how hard we all work. She also knows that our physical health and our emotional (and mental health) are connected. In order to be truly healthy and happy we need to take care of both our physical health (i.e. make sure you go for an annual check up and follow doctor recommendations) and our mental health or emotional health (i.e. developing a prevention plan).

Last week, we wrote about how to manage stress at work. Here are a few tips you can use NOW to manage stress at home.
1) Develop a ritual. Incorporate a relaxation technique into your bedtime routine in order to prevent stress. I will be posting some “how to videos” on this soon.

2) Declutter your home. From a psychological point of view, a messy environment, adds to our sense of emotional chaos.

3) Get enough rest. It sounds really simple, but so many adults suffer from insomnia. Stress can lead to poor sleep and poor sleep and become an added stressor. If sleep is an issue, get support!

Is worrying keeping you up at night? Need help learning a relaxation technique?

3 things you can do to manage stress at work

Our founder, Elika Kormeili, gets asked by a lot of people (even doctors) for tips to manage stress in the work place. While, we recognize that each setting is different, here are some general tools to help manage workplace stress.

3 things you can do while at work to manage your stress
1) Close your eyes and take a few deep breathes.
2) Get organized. Many people get stressed due to poor time management or lack of organization. If you need help in this area, don’t be afraid to ask!
3) Stimulate your senses-have a bottle of lotion, perfume or maybe a candle that invigorates your senses (my personal favorites are citrus, melon or cucumber). The real thing works just as well.  At Center for Healthy and Happy Living, we believe that prevention is better than treatment, so here is what you can do NOW to prevent stress at work.


3 tips to prevent stress at work
1) Identify the source of your stress and develop a battle plan.
2) Learn to manage your time as efficiently as possible.
3) Eliminate unneccessary stressors in your personal life, so that they do not become stressors at work. If you are already stressed, it doesn’t take much to overwhelm you.

Need help implementing? Give us a call at 424.274.2256

Stress Impacts Everyone’s Health

At Center for Healthy and Happy Living, we understand the importance of managing stress. Not only does stress put us in a bad mood and make us “grumpy” but it also impacts our physical health. Stress is the body’s response to a change that requires a physical, mental or emotional adjustment. The trigger or “stressor” could be good (getting married, having a child) or it could be bad (illness, death of a loved one, divorce, etc).

How stress impacts women’s health:

Stress is often a key culprit when women experience menstruation problems. Hormonal problems are a big stressor for women. We can ponder which came first, stress or hormonal problems but the truth is that hormonal problems are a physical stressor which may (and often do) lead to emotional stress.

  • Heart disease is the number one killer of American women. High blood pressure, heart attacks, heart palpitations, and stroke may be stress related cardiovascular conditions.

  • Some women experience changes in their sexuality and may experience sexual problems such as loss of desire and vaginal dryness as a result of stress.

  • The effects of stress may present physically such as fatigue, aches and pains, or emotionally such anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances. Stress affects others by causing gastrointestinal disorders such as ulcers, lower abdominal cramps, colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

  • Stress weakens the immune system.

  • Stress can initiate dermatological conditions such as itchy skin, breakouts, wrinkles, and rashes.

  • Stress weakens your immunity and therefore your ability to fight off adverse food reactions.

 Impact of stress on men’s health:

  • The effects of stress may present physically such as fatigue, aches and pains, or emotionally such anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances.

  • Stress affects others by causing gastrointestinal disorders such as ulcers, lower abdominal cramps, colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). 

  • Stress weakens the immune system so people experience more colds and infections.

  • Stress can initiate dermatological conditions.      

  • Stress can impact your libido and your sexual performance.

  • Stress may be the culprit for hair loss in some men.

Are you controlling your stress or is stress controlling you? What do you do to combat stress? Leave us a comment and let us know.